Tuesday, December 25, 2018

How Old Are We?

In answering this question I will present four (4) of the best reasons which I use to show when the earliest humans likely existed, and around which I base my current view that our existence is reasonably dateable to around 6000 to 5000 BCE, or around 7,000 to 8,000 years ago. My four reasons are:

1. Metallurgy;
2. Human Civilization, specifically, human “Structures”;
3. Human Communication, specifically, “Writing”;
4. Knowledge of Astronomy.

Bienkowski and Millard (Dictionary of the Ancient Near East [Philadelphia: University Press of Pennsylvania, 2000], page 294) explain that, as far as metal tools are concerned, they are as early as the “Old Babylonian date” (from 2000 BCE to late 1800 or early 1700 BCE), and that a “group of tenth-century BC iron tools from Tell Taanach in Palestine shows a similar range of implements” (Dictionary of the Ancient Near East, page 294).

Even if we accept that the Hongshan (early Chinese culture from 4500 to 2250 BCE) used copper or possibly iron tools to work their Jade pieces, this puts the use of metal tools by humans resembling our use of the same today to between 3,800 and 6,500 years ago.—See the article, “Hongshan Mysterious Artifacts,” Tripzbit, March 20, 2009).

Of related interest, and in further support of time when humans began to intentionally and with what we consider “intelligence” manipulate and use metal and mixed metal (alloy) tools, the historical record in the Bible names the one who started this as “Tubalcain,” who began “shaping any kind of bronze or iron” (Genesis 4:22). Compare this with Josephus, who references many earlier histories in his works (see Antiquities 1.26; 93-95; 118-121; 131-139; 2.91-94; 176-183), and who in his Antiquities of the Jews (Book I, Chapter 2.2) writes, “But Tubal/Jubel, ... first of all invented the art of making brass.”

Tubalcain is believed to have lived about 875 to 975 years after Adam was born according to my calculation of the information provided in Genesis Chapters 4 and 5. This is consistent with or within the date range for the use of metal tools since 4500 BCE. By contrast, our evidence for metallurgy does not provide dates consistent with how we currently translate and understand the Sumerian King Lists or various Indian histories which appear to claim human existence up to tens and even hundreds of thousands of years ago. But the easier to translate and to understand records in the Bible are, again, more consistent with the dates for our evidence of human metallurgy.

To this we can add between 875 and 975 years of human development from the first human(s) since the Garden of Eden to the first known use of tools according to Genesis 4:22. Based on this evidence, the most I could reasonably conclude along with some consideration for the time from the first humans in Eden to the development of metal tools, is between 6,500 and 7,500 years of human existence.

Human Civilization: Structures
Humans today and throughout our recorded past have built buildings, structures, and cities in which to live and to house their property. While there have been some findings of structures believed to date back approximately 8,000 years (see, “Prehistoric building found in Tel Aviv,” AP January 11, 2010), these are far different from the kinds of buildings or structures that are elsewhere described as having had their “top in the heavens” (compare Genesis 11:2). The oldest of these types of buildings or cities which have come to light through archeological discovery include the Egyptian structures and pyramids (3809 to 2853 BCE) and Stonehenge (2400-2200 BCE), neither of which exceed 6,000 years in age. Even the Tel Aviv structure dates at most 2,000 years earlier than these buildings, or to around 6000 BCE.

Subsequently, after the Flood, the Bible records that humans like us “migrated from the east” and “came upon a plain in the land of Shinar,” or Babylon (in modern-day Iraq), where they decided to build “a city and a tower with its top in the heavens” (Genesis 11:2-4). This “tower” or “ziggurat” (Hebrew: migdal, likely a loan-word from the Akkadian ziqqurat or zaqaru, meaning, “to be high up”) of “Shinar”/Babylon is consistent with archaeological findings of structures in the region of ancient Mesopotamia, such as the remnants of the Tower of Babel itself and the Ziggurat of Ur, which are dated to around 3500 BCE to 2500 BCE, respectively. You can see images of what remains of the Tower of Babel in my video, “The God Jah”(11/25/2018), starting at minute 7:00 and ending at minute 7:45.

Even places like the still-being-excavated Gobekli Tepe, which some date back 10,000 years or more, there is no way to date the stone and attempts to date organic material around the site will produce numerous different dates, none of which indicate when the stone was actually carved and erected, but only when organic material already grown was used at some point at the site. Again, this could have been organic material alive for many years earlier than the completion of Gobekli Tepe, and the material was certainly deposited over a long period, like with any other open site, and then dug up along with the earth and sand.

One final note on Gobekli Tepe, I believe this place is potentially a site used by Noah in the pre-Flood world to contain and to keep the animals possibly for up to 100 years before entering the ark, a story told in various forms throughout the ancient world and consistent with archaeology (Genesis Chapters 6 through 8). Further, Gobekli Tepe is not far from the biblical “mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:4) and it was buried by tons of sand, sand that could likely only have been moved by massive amounts of water, as in the Great Flood.—See my video, “The God Jah” (11/25/2018), starting at minute 2:25and ending at minute 4:45 (see the images of Gobekli Tepe shown in the last part of this segment of the video).

Human Communication: Writing
The oldest evidence of any form of written (and, hence, likely spoken) language is believed to be on pottery from Harappa, in southern Egypt, which contain “primitive words” at the tomb of the “Scorpion king” dated to between 3300 and 3200 BCE, as well as the writing of the Sumerians from “the Mesopotamian civilization around 3100 BCE.—See “‘Earliest writing’ found,” Dr.David Whitehouse, BBC News (May 4, 1999).

The earliest of the Sumerian writings are believed to date between 3500 and 3000 BCE (see Dan Vergano, “Ancient writing system getsInternet update,” USA Today [May 21, 2002]). This is also around the time (3500 to around 2200 BCE) when the Tower of Babel and other, similar structures were likely built. In fact, this is the precise area (southern Mesopotamia) where the division of human language is said to have occurred according to the record in Genesis 11:7-9, and which is supported by the best available evidence as I show in part also in my video, “The God Jah” (11/25/2018), starting at minute 6:00 and ending at 7:45.

Knowledge of Astronomy
Other evidence of human existence is surely the understanding of the movements of our moon, other planets, and the sun and other stars. The best available reasons from our history indicate we have only kept “time” in these ways from between around 5000 BCE to 3000 BCE. For example, the Goseck Circle is presently dated to between 5000 and 4600 BCE. It is considered to be the earliest sun observatory found to date.—See “Goseck Circle, The Oldest Solar Observatory in the World,” Charismatic Planet(July 19, 2017).

After this, we find other similar objects being used by humans for measuring or marking time and season, such as the Nebra Disk, which was found 25 kilometers (about 15.5 miles) away from the Goseck Circle, and which is believed to be “the oldest concrete representation of the cosmos.”—From an article comparing the Goseck site to the Nebra Disk published on DW.com as “Archaeologists Unearth GermanStonehenge” (August 8, 2003).

Dated to around 1600 BCE (about 3,000 years younger than the Goseck Circle), the Nebra Sky Disk was found near Goseck and appears to have an image similar to what we find represented by part of the Goseck Circle. The dates for both the Goseck Circle and the Nebra Sky Disk are consistent with the date ranges for other types of cosmic representations intelligently designed and built by other humans. For example, the dates for the building of the three Egyptian Pyramids of Giza, Khafra, and Menkaura are not older than 3000 to 2500 BCE. Together these three pyramids represented the constellation known as the Belt of Orion.

The Goseck Circle, the Nebra Sky Disk, and the Giza Pyramid and other pyramids of Egypt represent clear human understanding of cosmic objects and of their position relative to the earth and to humans on it. As noted already, the earliest date of these three items is the Goseck Circle, which takes us to around 5000 BCE, or about 7,000 years ago. To this we might add up to another 500 or even 1,000 years (but not with hard evidence, like we have for up to 7,000 years) to account for certain development in understanding of astronomy from the first humans to the point of the Goseck Circle, if we accept the 5000 BCE or 4900 BCE date for it. More likely in my view, it was built after the Flood (around 4500 to 4000 BCE), when we see many other monuments dedicated to astronomy appearing all over the world.

So here is what we get from a consideration of these four undisputed evidences of human existence:

Evidence of Metallurgy: (4500 to 2250 BCE) = 6,500 years ago (max.);
Evidence of Human Civilization: Structures: (6000 to 3500 BCE) = 6,000 years ago (max.);
Evidence of Human Communication: Writing: (4000 to 3500 BCE) = 6,000 years ago (max.);
Evidence Showing Knowledge of Astronomy: (5000 to 3000 BCE) = 7,000 years ago (max.);
+ Development Allowance: up to 1,000 years.
= Human existence is: up to / around 8,000 years old.

It is also possible some of the max dates given for the above evidence are younger (or older) than I accept here. All things considered, I feel safe accepting up to between 7,000 and 8,000 years after reviewing these four credible means of defining human existence. In the end, I find the Bible, even with its pre-Flood lengths of some human lives in the hundreds of years, to be far more consistent with this mostly objective evidence than the current understandings of Sumerian King Lists and various Indian histories which do not have anywhere near the same level or quality of objective evidence supporting the dates they appear to allege.

Monday, December 24, 2018

VIDEO: "4000 to 3500 BCE: Earliest Accepted Writing, Tower of Babel (Genesis), and Language Development"

Here is a clip from one of my recent videos which I hope provides a helpful summary of the history of human language and how it relates to languages before and after the Flood and since the days of the Tower of Babel.

If you have any comments you can make them on the CWJah-Tube Channel hosting the video.


Monday, December 3, 2018

Non-Biblical Evidence for the Historicity of Jesus Christ

Evidence for Jesus as a real historical person includes more than the four familiar New Testament accounts of Jesus’ life, and more than even the New Testament letters written shortly after Jesus’ death. The evidence also includes several early, non-biblical, non-Christian references to Jesus and to his teachings. These include:

1. Cornelius Tacitus (55-57 CE to 120 CE):

Ancient Rome’s greatest historian, wrote about Jesus in The Annals. In this work Tacitus refers to “Christians” as those whose name came from Christus (Latin for “Christ”), whom Tacitus says “suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius” by “Pontius Pilate” (15.44). Tacitus’ record here is consistent with the New Testament record in Luke 3:1 and in 23:24-25, 33.

Also, we have Pilate's name in the New Testament (in addition to Luke, see Matthew 27:11-26), inscribed in stone from the same time period, and, more recently, on a metal ring found in the area Pilate governed.

2. Flavius Josephus (CE 37 to 97):

Famous Jewish historian Josephus was alive in the first century and he witnessed many events involving Jerusalem and the surrounding areas after Jesus was killed. His writings contain quotations from some very early biblical texts and he also provides credible, documented histories for the Jewish and for other people during and before the first century CE.—See Antiquities 1.26; 93-95; 118-121; 131-139; 2.91-94; 176-183. 

Further, his descriptions of what took place before and after the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 CE are extremely detailed and accurate. For example, Josephus writes about the lots used by the Jews at Masada and the Roman ramp constructed out of solid earth to lay siege to it, evidence for which we have today.—The Wars of the Jews Book 7, Chapter 8.5; Wars of the Jews 7.395-400.

In his Antiquities of the Jews (18.63-64) Josephus refers to a “wise man”  called “Jesus” and says he was “perhaps the Messiah.” This is the reading of the 10th century Arabic version, which agrees with the 12th Syriac version on this point, and which is nearly the same as Jerome's (342 to 420 CE) earlier translation of Josephus.—See Alice Whealey, “The Testimonium Flavianum in Syriac and Arabic,” NTS 54.4 (2008), page 581.

Whealey’s presentation of Pines’ translation of the Arabic version of Josephus text here is as follows:

[A]t this time there was wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.— Whealey, “The Testimonium Flavianum, page 574.

Though, as Origen also notes (Against Celsus 1.47; Commentary on Matthew 10.17), Josephus did not believe Jesus was the Messiah, in Antiquities 18.63-64 he nonetheless writes about Jesus being 'condemned by Pilate' (compare Tacitus' report in 1., above). Josephus also here writes about how Jesus' followers believed he "appeared to them three days after" his death, just as we read in the New Testament.—Matthew 16:21; 17:22-23; 20:17-19; 27:62-28:6.

A little later in his Antiquities Josephus writes about a certain “James” whom he called “the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ” (Antiquities 20.9). This agrees with the history of Jesus’ life written by Jesus’ early follower Mark (6:2-3), as well as the New Testament letter to the Galatians (1:19), written by Paul, who describes James as “the Lord’s brother.” Here is the near-complete account by Josephus about what happened to Jesus’ half-brother James:

Ananus … assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without his consent.—Josephus, Antiquities 20.9.1.

3. Pliny the Younger (c. 61 to 112 CE):

A Roman, non-Christian official and adviser to then-Emperor Trajan, wrote a letter (Letters 10.96) to Trajan briefly describing the early Christians and asking the Emperor what he should do about them. Here is Pliny’s entire letter to Trajan on this issue, with my underlining to one part which outlines what Pliny understood to be some of the early Christians’ beliefs and practices:


IT is a rule, Sir, which I inviolably observe, to refer myself to you in all my doubts; for who is more capable of guiding my uncertainty or informing my ignorance? Having never been present at any trials of the Christians, I am unacquainted with the method and limits to be observed either in examining or punishing them. Whether any difference is to be made on account of age, or no distinction allowed between the youngest and the adult; whether repentance admits to a pardon, or if a man has been once a Christian it avails him nothing to recant; whether the mere profession of Christianity, albeit without crimes, or only the crimes associated therewith are punishable in all these points I am greatly doubtful.

In the meanwhile, the method I have observed towards those who have been denounced to me as Christians is this: I interrogated them whether they were Christians; if they confessed it I repeated the question twice again, adding the threat of capital punishment; if they still persevered, I ordered them to be executed. For whatever the nature of their creed might be, I could at least feel no doubt that contumacy and inflexible obstinacy deserved chastisement. There were others also possessed with the same infatuation, but being citizens of Rome, I directed them to be carried thither.

These accusations spread (as is usually the case) from the mere fact of the matter being investigated and several forms of the mischief came to light. A placard was put up, without any signature, accusing a large number of persons by name. Those who denied they were, or had ever been, Christians, who repeated after me an invocation to the Gods, and offered adoration, with wine and frankincense, to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for that purpose, together with those of the Gods, and who finally cursed Christ none of which acts, it is said, those who are really Christians can be forced into performing these I thought it proper to discharge. Others who were named by that informer at first confessed themselves Christians, and then denied it; true, they had been of that persuasion but they had quitted it, some three years, others many years, and a few as much as twenty‑ five years ago. They all worshipped your statue and the images of the Gods, and cursed Christ.

They affirmed, however, the whole of their guilt, or their error, was, that they were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food but food of an ordinary and innocent kind. Even this practice, however, they had abandoned after the publication of my edict, by which, according to your orders, I had forbidden political associations. I judged it so much the more necessary to extract the real truth, with the assistance of torture, from two female slaves, who were styled deaconesses: but I could discover nothing more than depraved and excessive superstition.

I therefore adjourned the proceedings, and betook myself at once to your counsel. For the matter seemed to me well worth referring to you, especially considering the numbers endangered. Persons of all ranks and ages, and of both sexes are, and will be, involved in the prosecution. For this contagious superstition is not confined to the cities only, but has spread through the villages and rural districts; it seems possible, however, to check and cure it. 'Tis certain at least that the temples, which had been almost deserted, begin now to be frequented; and the sacred festivals, after a long intermission, are again revived; while there is a general demand for sacrificial animals, which for some time past have met with but few purchasers. From hence it is easy to imagine what multitudes may be reclaimed from this error, if a door be left open to repentance.

See here for Trajan’s response.

This account by Pliny of the first and early second century Christians matches what we read in the Christian New Testament about Jesus being “a god” who was “with God” since he was the Son of God before he became a man (John 1:1-18; 10:29-37; Philippians 2:5-8), about singing to the risen Messiah who was killed  (Revelation 5:6-10), about acting morally (Ephesians 5:18-20; Philippians 4:8-9) Colossians 3:14-24; Titus 2:1-10), and about partaking of food and drink in remembrance of Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:20-26), as he instructed them.—Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:13-20; Matthew 26:19-29.

4. C. Suetonius Tranquillus (c. 69 to sometime after 122 CE):

Suetonius, Roman historian and son of a Roman knight, wrote a work called, "The Lives of the Twelve Caesars." In it he refers to a Jewish 'instigator' whom he calls in Latin, Chrestus. In spite of what some wrongly believe, this is another form of the word Christus or "Christ," used by Tacitus in 1. above. We know this because of what the Latin writer Tertullian (160 to 220 CE) wrote in his Apology (Chapter 3), “Christian, so far as the meaning of the word is concerned, is derived from anointing. … it is wrongly pronounced by you, 'Chrestianus,' (for you do not even know accurately the name you hate)."—Translation by Rev. S. Thelwall (I italicized "Chrest" in "Chrestianus").

In this text Suetonius also writes that, because of the "disturbances" by Jews as the instigation of "Chrestus," then-Emperor Claudius "expelled them from Rome." This fits with what we read in the New Testament book of Acts 18:1-3, where the Christian Paul went out of his way to see a Jew named "Aquila," who was one of those Jews ordered out of Rome by Claudius. It is therefore likely this Jew named "Aquila" was also, like Paul, familiar with the one they called "Christ." Claudius, at this early date (41 to 53 CE), would not likely have seen any difference between the Christians and other Jewish sects of that time, so he would have undoubtedly considered them all "Jews."

5. Lucian of Samosata (c. 120 CE to 190 CE):

Though he was born in the second century CE, Lucian nonetheless provides some value insight about what he knew of the Christians at this time. Lucian was not a Christian. In fact, his writings show he looked down on and even sought to infiltrate and to take advantage of Christians.

Lucian also wrote various dialogues in which he satirizes humanity and the philosophies of his day. In his work The Death of Peregrine (11) Lucian writes about the devotion of “the Christians” to “a man” who “was crucified” because of the “novel rites” introduced by the “crucified” man (Lucian, The Death of Peregrine, 11). Again we find non-Christians familiar with and repeating to others the same story we find in Tacitus and in Josephus, namely, he was put to death in a torturous manner.

This is some of the earliest, non-biblical evidence showing Jesus was a real historical person and that the things written about him in the New Testament documents are consistent with the records of non-Christians living at or around the same time.

To this evidence we can of course add the wealth of material in the four earliest and best records of Jesus life and activities (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), records which are have more credible manuscripts supporting their content and textual history than any other written documents from or before the first century, unless we are going to compare them with other biblical books written before Jesus became a man.

I will discuss the textual history and credibility of the Old and the New Testament (and related) documents in comparison to other historical writings from the same periods in a future article. Suffice it is to end this article by concluding Jesus was a real historical person and we have credible representations from a variety of earlier sources to show this, in addition to the new Testament documents.


Here are three videos from our new YouTube channel, "CWJah-Tube," one from each new series:

Weekdays 5:00 AM PST - LIVE SHOW, "Day Texts with Greg Stafford":

Philippians 4:4-9 (on 11/30/2018)

Saturday 8:30 AM PST - LIVE SHOW, "CWJah Talk":

Show #2 - The God Jah

Sunday 8:30 AM PST - Pre-Recorded Weekly, "The Great Message":

On the Superiority of the Biblical Records - Part 1

If you want updates on new videos and information about the CWJ-Tube channel you can subscribe to it once you sign in to YouTube.

A topical series of videos is also being prepared with clips from our weekly videos and with some old and some new, separate videos on select topics. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Christian Witnesses of Jah Discussion Forum Update

The Christian Witnesses of Jah (CWJ) Discussion Forum is accepting new members, persons with a verifiable identify and who believe in three simple, easy-to-prove and to understand Bible truths:

1. Jah, the Father, is the One True God:

Exodus 15:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 115:18; Isaiah 12:2; Malachi 2:10; John 8:54; 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:5; Revelation 19:1-6.

2. Jesus, the man, was originally Jah's heavenly Firstborn, who descended to the earth to show why and how his Father should be worshipped:

Deuteronomy 32:8; Matthew 4:10; 5:45; 19:28; 20:28; Mark 10:45; Luke 4:8; John 1:18; Acts 17:26; Ephesians 3:14; Philippians 2:6-11; Colossians 1:15-18.

3. Treat others as we want to be treated, forgiving and receiving forgiveness when we make mistakes for which we are sorry, or feel regret because we succumbed to human weakness, or lost our way only to find it again:

Matthew 6:14-15; 22:35-40; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:25-28; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8.

That's it!

While there is much more in terms of what each person can believe, everything else taught in the biblical writings or elsewhere is for each person to decide, and for which each one of us will individually answer to God.--Romans 14:4-13; Revelation 20:12-13; 22:12.

Join us if you desire to promote belief in these Three Things, versus arguing (as some do) over what to believe. We already have more than enough good reasons to accept, to believe, and to teach these Three Things, so that is what CWJs intend to do. 

If you register at the CWJ Forum site, please wait until you are contacted and further details will be provided to you. If your membership is approved, we would love to have you participate in giving Jah praise, following Jesus' ways, and helping others to do the same things.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Thinking Less of Jesus

Even writing a title like this seems strange to me. That is because for me and for many others Jesus of Nazareth, the one about whom the four most likely authentic "Great Messages" by John, Luke, Mark, and Matthew are written, is one whom we consider a "holy" figure. But no one is required to call Jesus "holy," or "God," or "a god." Some claim he was only a human prophet; some believe he never existed; some say he existed only in the mind of God, or as God's "plan."

However you personally understand this Jesus from the biblical histories, when it comes to me, and the group I started, Christian Witnesses of Jah (CWJs), we believe Jesus was born through Mary as taught in biblical record (Luke 1:34-35). We believe God put Jesus’ prehuman consciousness into flesh (John 1:1, 14; Philippians 2:5-8), and he grew into a child (Luke 2:48-51), and then into a man.--Luke 3:23.

We believe this was done, in part, because God chose to carefully manage this transfer of Jesus' prehuman spirit consciousness into a specific human lineage that would provide the right body in which, we also believe, Jesus lived and died.—Luke 3:23-38; Matthew 1:1-16; Romans 1:3; Colossians 1:18-19; 2:8-9; Hebrews 10:5; 10:10.

No one today or to this point understands how this is done on the metaphysical to the physical plane. How could we, since no human today has a conscious understanding of metaphysics, or how things like this type of life or consciousness transfer from a spirit to a human could work. On the other hand, today we are, some might say, dangerously close to uploading our consciousness into another form. Therefore, it should hardly surprise anyone CWJs believe in Jesus' prehuman consciousness as a spirit being which was, in some sense we do not fully understand, "downloaded" into a real human being, one born of woman.

For these reasons, today CWJs' view of Jesus' prehuman and human life might not be so difficult to grasp on this plane. In any case, we do not speculate. CWJs base our views of Jesus on the histories which best contain his teachings, and those which precede his human life though they appear to speak about someone like him (Deuteronomy Chapter 18; Proverbs 8:21-31; Micah 5:1-4; Daniel 7:13-14; John 1:18; 8:58; Colossians 1:15-17; Revelation 3:14). Yet, even where it concerns these texts some who believe in the biblical documents, including these texts, do our share our view. 

I am not upset by this nor do I think less of people simply because they do not share my view of Jesus. Each adult must be accountable for his or her own views. Based on experience, I fully expect and I prepare for the likelihood that many if not most people I meet will not share my view of Jesus. At least not right now.

However, as I wrote in my CWJs and the Trinity article, I would prefer a belief in God that uses a Trinitarian metaphysic or an understanding of "God" which attempts to make sense of the teaching of monotheism, generally described as the belief in "one God" (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4), than I would accept views which take away from how Jesus is described in the biblical writings or, even more so, over views by non- or by anti-Christians which ignore or which actively disrespect his person or his name.

Yet, when it comes to Jesus this is an area where CWJs, Trinitarians, and other groups like the Watchtower get into areas of disagreement, though in such a situation CWJs and Jehovah's Witnesses would likely see eye-to-eye on most issues pertaining to "God," except for where it concerns allowances of views on the Holy Spirit. All three groups would be acceptable to CWJs in the sense in which they view "God." Still, this would not be the case when it comes to how most if not all Trinitarian groups and those in the Watchtower would view CJWs, that is, in terms of what you can or cannot accept about “God.”

Therefore, when I write (as I did) about others who, by comparison to CWJs, Trinitarians, and the Watchtower think "less" of Jesus, I mean those persons/groups, for example, Jews or Muslims, who do not share our view of Jesus in the sense in which he existed before becoming a man. In spite of this, I would not hesitate to work with Muslims, for example, if we were being attacked by Jews or by any other group because of our view of Jesus as a holy figure, or as a prophet of God.

Though CWJs and Muslims also do not share the same view of Jesus, we both accept him, at very the least, as a prophet of God. Non-Christian Jews who accept the biblical documents in their worship or religious practice do not accept Jesus as CWJs or as Muslims do, and they reject him as the Messiah. But even though I disagree with such a view of Jesus, CWJs and Jews have a lot in common otherwise, particularly when it comes to biblical history before Jesus. 

So there are circumstances when, for one reason or another, a person's view of a special figure or of God can more or less, bring otherwise divided people or groups together, such as for a common defense or to promote a shared view. Nothing I have ever written is meant to imply any kind of gathering together to harm any person or group. People and groups harm themselves by their own actions, or views, and how they handle the consequences. Still, I do feel a need to warn others about some of the dangers I believe all Christians face today due to our views of Jesus and God, at least potentially by some.

Defending one's self or group or teacher or God is an appropriate reason to work together with others who are similarly under attack, in spite of any other differences. But this is not meant to imply I or any other CWJ would or should, for example, view all atheists, Muslims, Jews, Wiccans, Luciferians (though here I believe there is reason for greater alertness, since Luciferianism appears to be anti-Christian, and so, discriminatory), or any other religious or non-religious person or group as a threat. Simply having a lesser view of Jesus would not change how I treat a person or a group. Not treating others the way I want to be treated, as a matter of practice, would run directly contrary to the third of CWJs' Three Things.--Matthew 22:35-40; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:25-28, 30-37; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8.

With this accepted, where it concerns being attacked, or appropriately defending ourselves or fighting back so evil people do not glory over unrighteousness to the detriment of righteousness, I would much prefer to do so with those who have a closer view of the one whom CWJs believe is God's Son, than I would spiritually trust others who have a lower view of Jesus in spite of having access to the same information I do. But I am talking here about working in defense or for a common religious cause, or helping those in need. I am not referring at all to how we should treat others we meet in life, or at work, or who do not attack us for our faith, or who simply have their own belief about Jesus and about life in general.

Just know this: CWJs have a view of Jesus, too. So if we can respect each other, including how we view so-called "holy" figures, whether it is how you view yourself or another religious figure, or God, I am sure we will all get along much better in spite of any differences, if we try and if we realize we do not have to agree on everything in order to co-exist without discrimination, for as long as God permits it.--Proverbs 16:7; Matthew 5:9; Romans 12:18.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Christian Witnesses of Jah and the Trinity

I've received some odd feedback from some who see my "Signs in Sun and Moon and Stars" article as an acceptance, or me being "open" to Trinitarianism. I never wrote this, and anyone who suggests this is either naïve or deceiving you.

Still, apparently some are more alarmed by their own misunderstanding of my view of the Trinity than they are concerned about what I wrote regarding MS, SM, and SMS groups and people! Obviously, any person who reads my "Sun and Moon and Stars" article and whose main or only concern after doing so is whether I am "open" to the Trinity missed the whole point of that article, and may even be sympathetic to those want to continue to divide Christianity, making it an easier MS, SM, and SMS target.

Again, many people act like Christians; but they only really want to argue about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. That is not the sign of a Christian. So I rarely waste time with people anymore who only want to waste my time re-hashing already-debated topics. The evidence is readily available. Each person can accept or reject it.

For the record, I never wrote I am "open" to Trinitarianism as some seem to think. In fact, I was very clear in my "Signs in Sun and Moon and Stars" article Christian Witnesses of Jah (CWJs) do not promote Trinitarianism.

However, I personally believe the Trinity, as traditionally understood, is a better understanding of God/Jesus/Holy Spirit than those views which demean Jesus (like MS, SM, and SMS persons and groups) or which do not give him enough glory, like most so-called Christian groups who deny Jesus' conscious pre-human existence today, similar to Islam, which views Jesus as human prophet. Still, I do not expect or require each person with whom I associate to hold exactly the same view as I do about Jesus, in every respect. I only expect my brothers and sisters in CWJ faith to hold to the same view as is clearly taught in the New Testament, as it is one of Three Things we believe in above everything else.

CWJs believe it is impossible to read the Bible and then to reasonably deny Jesus existed as a spirit before becoming a human. We understand other views and people are entitled to them. But I will not waste any more time arguing over what others can read for themselves in the Bible. I am not going to argue with anyone else claiming to be Christian if I can help it, since all such persons should already know what to do, what to believe, and they should be acting out their beliefs, not looking to argue with other professed believers in the Christ. That only makes it more difficult to reach non-believers, those most in need spiritually.

In closing, I would take the Trinity any day over those views of Jesus which demean him, or even over views which think less of him than I believe is warranted in light of the evidence. But the Trinity, in terms of its metaphysical concepts, is not my view of "God." I understand the Trinity, and I can see why some Trinitarians use it to help them understand biblical monotheism. However, that is not what CWJs use nor is it what I personally use to understand monotheism/God as taught in the Bible.

Though I was pretty clear about this in my SMS article, there are some people who appear unable to read and to comprehend the meaning of words in their context. So I felt the need to explain this again, one more time.

[NOTE: On December 3, 2018, I corrected the paragraph beginning with, "However, I personally believe …" so that the final two sentences now read with the underlined parts added: "Still, I do not expect or require each person with whom I associate to hold exactly the same view as I do about Jesus, in every respect. I only expect my brothers and sisters in CWJ faith to hold to the same view as is clearly taught in the New Testament, as it is one of Three Things we believe in above everything else." I also added "nor is it what I personally use" to the paragraph beginning with, "In closing."]

Friday, March 9, 2018

"There Will Be Signs in Sun and Moon and Stars” (Jesus)—Luke 21:25

Jesus’ words from this biblical text could be interpreted as a reference to certain cosmic phenomena which Christians believe will occur when Jesus returns to bring God’s judgment, ushering in a new age.—Revelation 19:1-6.

But what if Jesus’ words refer to something else, or to something also?

What if these foretold “signs in sun and moon and stars” are not cosmic phenomena but, instead (or in addition), involve people who use these symbols to promote anti-Christianity, and to communicate with each other in ways detrimental to Christians world-wide?

This is not about a conspiracy. It is about my experience over the past fifteen (15) years or so, which indicates this is happening regardless of whether Jesus spoke about it according to Luke 21:25.

I am not the first nor will I be the last to point out a pattern of cosmic symbols used by certain persons for a specific reason. The increasing use of so-called Illuminati and other Satanic symbols today is exploding. At the same time, I do not see enough attention being given to some of these symbols, specifically, those which involve a combination of the moon and stars (MS), the sun and moon (SM), and the sun and moon and stars (SMS).

In my experience, apart from a trendy, naïve adoption of these symbols, in almost every other instance where these symbols are used, there appears to be an interest in decreasing the reputation, influence, and even material possessions of Christians while at the same time increasing those of MS, SM, and SMS groups. Though this may seem simply to follow an unfortunate tendency among humans since the beginning of our documented history, it is much worse if the side being attacked or if any one person on the attacked side is unaware of what is happening to them.

After leaving the Watchtower in the early 2000s, through work and social involvements I met many people I did not know before, including many non-Christians. While this is not significant in and of itself today, what I did not realize was how many of these people were anti-Christians, or truly opposed to Christian or Judeo-Christian beliefs and practices. By the time I finally realized it, in some ways it was too late. In other ways, it was just in time.

Either way, this article is not meant to review my entire history. Rather, it is to explain what I have discovered in part since I became familiar with the use by some of MS, SM, and SMS imagery. First I will provide just a little more background so there is a better context to why this involves me.

I grew up around and eventually in the Watchtower Society. As a result, I have never been politically active. But I was very active with the Watchtower organization, and in doing my own work as a member of it. Now that I am not involved at all with that organization, I am not opposed to being involved with politics if it benefits humankind. However, I find my efforts are best spent openly supporting the biblical God Jah and belief in the one whom I believe God sent in fulfillment of the Mosaic Law, specifically Deuteronomy Chapter 18. That person, according to the evidence I have thoroughly considered, is Jesus.

Primarily for these reasons, I have tried to give them priority, and next my family, with little room or time for politics. I have been a Christian since at least 1990. Other than for a period of several years after leaving the Watchtower Society, I have remained a Christian. After leaving the Watchtower my work and my life in general brought me into contact with many persons who, though I tried to befriend socially and in common career objectives, I found to be working against me, in almost every possible way, from discrimination in the work place for my beliefs, to attempts to ruin my name and my means of survival, to undermining my religious beliefs, even interfering with my family.

I am not perfect, and I make mistakes just about every day. I do not set out to make mistakes, nor do I embrace my mistakes as a good thing when they happen. If I do something wrong I usually feel remorse, apologize, and try to fix things or change course. That is not how many MS, SM, and SMS people seem to think or act, and if you are a Christian you need to know this, since it could and likely will at some point directly affect you. In other words, many of those who use these symbols are not nice people, and certainly not when it comes to Christians, in my experience.  

This is why I say, regardless of the actual meaning of Jesus’ words in Luke 21:25, based on what I have experienced every Christian should be very careful, more so than usual, and do not be ignorant to those around you, or to what is going on at any moment. While Christians need to co-exist in the right way with all people according to the laws of our state, and more so according to the laws of God, we should not abandon our awareness of what others may do because we are Christian. Remember Jesus’ words: “You must become alert as snakes and innocent as doves.”—Matthew 10:16.

From what I have seen and experienced firsthand, these groups have determined to work together to overthrow or to take over American government, to undermine American businesses, especially insurance companies, and to bring down Christianity, all forms of it.

I have never worked with Protestant or with Catholic Trinitarian Christians, as I am not Trinitarian in how I view the metaphysics of God in the Bible. So usually we get caught up in that debate, which I regret, even if it has at times become necessary for both sides. But I most certainly believe in and I promote the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I believe this is important to explain because this article is primarily a warning to Christians, no matter your specific faith, though perhaps even more so if you are a Trinitarian since it appeared to me those are the majority of targeted groups and persons.

I will add I have never resisted Trinitarianism because I am anti-Christian. Just the opposite. In fact, while I do not believe all of the essential Trinitarian metaphysics are taught openly in the Bible, in my view this results in too much glory to Jesus, but since he is the “imprint of God” we are entering a discussion of metaphysical glory and greatness I am not willing to define and require beyond what is written (Hebrews 1:3). I will say I have come to accept Trinitarianism as a better alternative than those groups with views who give Jesus too little glory or no glory at all, and a much better alternative to those who oppose Jesus in any form, as appears to be the case with most if not all who knowingly promote MS, SM, and SMS imagery. 

Regardless, I am never going to stand against other Christians and on the side of anti-Christians, or on the side of those who promote anti-Christian ideas or beliefs. My group (the Christian Witnesses of Jah) does not require anyone to accept or to reject the Trinity; we are not an anti-Trinity group. We are a non-Trinitarian group who does not use the Trinity to promote the biblical God. However, if individual members choose to adopt a Trinitarian metaphysic for their own benefit in understanding monotheism or of certain biblical texts which Trinitarians believe support their belief, that is up to each person. My group simply does not require the Trinitarian metaphysic or promote it as a means of explaining biblical monotheism. That does not make us, nor should it make us, targets for manipulation by non-Christians against Trinitarian Christians. 

Now let me get to some of the evidence which shows people are actively trying to undermine Christianity and, in its place, to promote forms of Devil worship/Satanism/Baphometism, and the like, including the worship of Pan, all of whom are basically the same being or related to the same concept of serving one’s self, also known as Luciferianism. Everything I have experienced and observed for about (15) years tells me these people are knowingly using MS, SM, and SMS imagery to stimulate opposition to Christianity and to any form of Christian government and business. In part I believe this is so those not promoting these symbols can be identified and targeted or in some way not supported or hurt or at least weakened. 

Since many of these groups also operate based on racist motivation and/or a mis-perceived view of land-ownership in North America and elsewhere, they are easily manipulated against white American Christians. These means of inflaming a non-Christian’s spirit can then set people in opposition to those whom they blame for their problems, even non-white Christians. So there is a lot more behind the use of these images than a mere symbolic opposition to Christianity.

As for hiding MS, SM, and SMS symbols in plain sight throughout society and popular culture, I have probably seen two or three complete episodes of the 1994 to 2004 show Friends. Nevertheless, in those 2-3 viewings I noticed the promotion of witchcraft, the dumbing down of men, and a mockery of traditional gender roles. After going through various experiences with MS, SM, and SMS groups and people, I noticed the following add for a Friends show on Yahoo! (red circling added):

There is one item clearly out of place in this image from a Friends episode: an oddly drawn, framed picture on the wall behind the male actor. Notice it has about half of a sun and crescent moon, with stars around it. This is SMS imagery on full display, hiding in plain sight.

After noticing more and more MS, SM, and SMS symbols since my experiences in the mid-2000s, in 2014 I came across this trophy for a Southern California middle school drama club performance:

Southern California Middle School Trophy (2014)

Given my prior involvement with and my observations related to people who use SM, SMS, and/or MS imagery and symbols, this item caught my attention. It struck me also how one star appeared offset from the other three stars which align to form a crescent moon shape. I just could not shake the apparent association in this trophy with MS imagery.

Still, I try not to read into anything more than is clearly there. So I kept this item in mind, accepting its possible association with MS imagery. I also considered the possibility the trophy image unintentionally formed a crescent moon shape, together with stars. Then, not long after noticing the trophy image, I saw this picture while reading through Southern California online news:

Notice the clear depiction of a crescent moon with a three-star pattern aligned with a fourth star offset from the other three. Take a closer look:

Someone cared an awful lot about this MS symbol with a unique crescent moon and star alignment to permanently ink it next to her left eye. Notice again: three stars are in line with each other with one star offset from the other three, exactly as we see in the 2014 California middle school trophy.

Then, more recently, in December 2017, while flying on a plane from Texas to California I was watching part of the 2017 Paramount Pictures movie Transformers 5: The Last Knight. While watching, I observed this scene involving the famous actor Anthony Hopkins holding up a clock (red circling added):

Transformers 5: The Last Knight, Paramount Pictures (2017)

In my red circle you can plainly make out the famous actor holding a combination of an SM clock complete with moonbeams and sun flares or rays. But look at the same image again, this time with another part of it in my red circle:

Notice the image below the SM symbol, in the round shape of the clock’s open glass cover. It shows the actor’s hand curved in the shape of a crescent moon with three bullet holes in alignment and a fourth hole offset from the other three.

Those holes represent stars, and the actor’s hand is the crescent moon, just like we see in the Southern California middle school trophy, and just like we see in the eye-tattoo of the Southern California burglar suspect.

So there is clearly some intended meaning in this particular MS symbol involving a crescent moon and a 3+1 star pattern. Perhaps it has something to do with the caption of the scene in the above image from the movie. Or perhaps it simply once again represents an anti-Christian sentiment expressed in a place no Christian would expect, and which not one Christian would pay to see.

I do not believe anything involved with this MS scene in a big budget, blockbuster (even if a terrible) movie with a famous actor is unintentional. It is what you see, whether with my assistance or not, because that is what those who made this scene wanted to present, even if they also wanted to hide it in plain sight using the clock and the open glass cover with bullet holes in it to do it.

Given the three prior examples of a unique MS image with a particular 3+1 star pattern, in three entirely different areas of life (a middle school trophy, a burglar’s face tattoo, and an important scene in a big budget, big studio, big franchise film involving a famous actor), I was surprised but not shocked when I saw this “formation” called into being by Beyoncé as part of her 2016 Video Music Awards show:

Beyoncé performing at the 2016 Video Music Awards

You can see the dancers have formed the sun image by the position of their arms, torsos, and legs as they lie on the floor, all in a circle, with the lower half of the human circle extended to mimic sun flares and light, and with the upper half illuminated in a crescent shape by bright lights acting as the moon and moonlight. There are also three lights as stars in alignment along the bottom with Beyoncé as the fourth, offset star in the middle. Here is my mark-up of this image showing these items:

Now we have a middle school trophy, a burglar’s face tattoo, a scene from the big budget movie Transformers 5, and a formation by persons under control of one of the biggest R&B and pop singers of today in a major music awards show, all using a unique combination of MS, SM, and SMS imagery. I do not believe this is some kind of creative coincidence.

As is well-known, both Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z regularly feature messages, dress, symbols, and lyrics (forward and backwards) in their so-called “art” or music which are openly anti-Christian. Rather than pollute this article with such lyrics and some truly disgusting images, for example, on Jay-Z’s shirts, if you are interested in them further you can easily find examples online. For now, just take a look at this extended view of Beyoncé’s final “formation” as it turned from full SMS imagery into this:

Beyoncé’s performance ending at the 2016 Video Music Awards

At the top in this image is the MS/SM/SMS symbol at the end of the show, with its light withdrawn, and clearly visible beneath it is a formation of an upside down cross, a common symbol of anti-Christianity.

Then there are these images, which make up only a very small part of other examples on TV and in popular films which promote MS, SM, and SMS symbolism (with red arrows and circling added):

Tangled, Walt Disney Pictures (2010)

Despicable Me 2, Universal Pictures (2013)

I Know What You Did Last Summer, Columbia Pictures (1997)

1980s MTV commercial with homosexual artist Boy George

Ouija, Universal Studios (2014)

And in case anyone needed to see a child’s version of a Ouija board, there is this:

The Conjuring 2, Newline Cinema (2016)

MS, SM, and SMS symbols are in use all over the place. They are used regularly in movies, at televised events, and sometimes in places you may not expect, often because they are hiding in plain sight and, therefore, they are not always easy to notice even when you are looking right at them.

For example, look at the front image of this popular Monster Energy beverage, which is part of a line of drinks introduced by the Hansen Natural Company starting in 2002:

This view of the can shows a couple items of note. There is the claw-mark logo which some believe is used to represent “666” in Hebrew letters (three waws ו ו ו). There is also an obvious use of a cross in the “o” of the word “Monster,” which turns upside down when you drink it. Apart from these things, nothing else really stands out. Now look at the front of the can again, this time flattened out:

You can probably make out the moon on the left and the sun on the right, with stars and even several ringed planets like Saturn visible along the left side. There are also two crescent moons on the upper left which make plain the larger crescent moon taking up most of the left corner, as shown here in my mark-up of the same image:

Someone clearly put a lot of thought into how this image looked on each side, and then also how it would look once flattened out. It clearly shows MS, SM, and SMS images. But, why? Why is it so important for the “Monster” brand to use what appears to be an indication of 666, and a cross depicted as a letter that turns upside down when you drink it, and which is filled with a variety of MS, SM, and SMS symbols?

I believe the answer is clear: The artist of this beverage’s can and/or others in the company approving it are promoting a form of anti-Christianity.

Then there is cat food, or at least one popular brand known as “Fancy Feast.” Take a look at this image of this flavor of dry variety cat food:

Now take a closer look at the cat food shapes from this bag (with red circling added):

Do cats care about the shape of their food? If so, they must like crescent moons and five-pointed stars!

Obviously, it is the humans who care about and who make the shapes of this cat food. Now I do not in this instance nor in any other know for sure what are the motives of the people behind these symbols, except where it involves my direct experience. Otherwise, I can only point out instances where they are used and explain my experiences with those who use them. I present the evidence I have found, how it relates to my experiences, and then leave it for each person to decide what it means, and what to do about it.

MS, SM, and SMS are being used everywhere, and this has been increasingly true for some time. It is also becoming more nuanced in use, and even openly promoted in places which have become suspect for all the wrong reasons. Consider the front sign of the now infamous Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washington, D.C., related to the “Pizzagate” scandal (with red circling added):

Front sign for Comet Ping Pong in Washington, D.C.

This sign’s four MS images are similar not only to some of the examples I have presented, but they also closely resemble the same symbols in the nineteenth century image of the goat god Baphomet, also popularized by well-known occultist Aleister Crowley in the early twentieth century (with red circling added):

19th century Baphomet image created by Eliphas Levi

There is more to this, a lot more. I have spoken and written about some of it, and I have presented some further evidence to help explain some of my concerns: We have one or more groups of people regularly using MS, SM, and SMS symbols and hiding them in plain sight in what appears to be a joint effort to promote anti-Christianity.

Regardless of intent, these MS, SM, and SMS images in and of themselves often stand as a warning for Christians and for Jews, in as much as for thousands of years Judeo-Christian God worshippers have been warned about the veneration and use of symbols for the sun, moon, and stars (Deuteronomy 4:19; 17:3-5; 2 Kings 23:5; Isaiah 47:12-15). Instead of promoting any of them, I and other Christians choose to promote the one who, in our view, made them and everything else.—Psalm 148:1-6.